5 Feather Plucking Supplements for Beautiful Plumage

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5 Feather Plucking Supplements for Beautiful Plumage

Feather plucking is a common behavior found in parrots.  This is a disorder in which the bird damages or pulls out its own feathers. In some cases the bird will bite off or chew at feathers.  Other birds may strip or barber their feathers. And some birds simply pull them out by the entire shaft, leaving vast areas of bald spots. All these feather damaging behaviors are a very frustrating problem for both veterinarian and the bird owner. After all, a lot of us are drawn to our birds beautiful plumage.

While some birds pluck due to environmental or parrot husbandry issues, others, even in an ideal setting, pluck for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes feather plucking behavior can be related to an upsetting event such the death of a flock mate or a significant change within the family. as the owner not giving the bird a specific food item, the perfect toy, or going away for the weekend.  It might be due to an injury that caused scar tissue and made feathers feel uncomfortable.  Whatever the cause, feather plucking behavior is often progressive in nature unless step are taken early on to manage the problem. The parrot may start with one part of the body such as the chest, but starts to damage other areas such as the legs, back, wings, neck, or abdomen. Feather plucking takes on an obsessive compulsive nature.

Feather Plucking Supplements

In many cases nutrition can have a major influence on your parrot’s feather plucking. If your parrot pet bird is otherwise healthy, but keeps plucking its feathers you may try using feather plucking supplements. Feather plucking is a form of self-mutilation behavior that has  a nutritional background, in many cases.

Growing new feathers is taxing on the body. Feathers are mainly composed of keratin, which is an insoluble protein made of amino acids such as leucine and tyrosine, as well as sulfur. The nutrients that are most commonly associated with feather disorders are vitamin A, calcium and other minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids. Mineral deficiencies, particularly calcium, sulfur, zinc, magnesium, and silicon, lack of fiber in the diet, and insufficient vitamin A may lead to dry and itchy skin that cause a bird to pluck. Your avian veterinarian can easily do tests to find out if your bird is deficient on vitamins and nutrients. A good multi-vitamin is in order as is a feather growth supplement such as featheriffic.

In feather plucking parrots, we  may also need to minimize skin irritation and assure proper nutritional intake for the regrowth of replacement feathers. Feather-in soothes irritated skin. For this purpose it is recommended to use a feather growth supplement such as Featheriffic in addition to an avian specific daily daily vitamin to insure your bird receives essentials rich in mineral, vitamins, and balanced in proteins. If a plucking parrot is eating only seeds then we need to supplement its diet with a product that easily dissolves in the drinking water. If your pet bird is also eating vegetables and fruits, you can use a supplement designed to be added to solid foods.

Besides the nutritional causes that lead to feather plucking, there are also several other factors that may cause your parrot to pluck. Some of them include environmental factors, stress, behavioral issues, not getting enough sleep, as well as medical conditions and diseases such as liver damage and parasites. Feather plucking may continue even if the source of stress is removed. A key factor in treating this behavioral chronic issue can be a healthy diet. Calcium plays a major role in proper function of the nerves and brain.

Calcium

Calcium boosting supplements can replenish this missing ingredient in your parrot’s diet. Calcium serves many purposes.  One, of course is bone health, but another, often misunderstood function is to keep the nervous system in check. One symptom of low calcium is nervous, anxious behavior. For this reason, a calcium booster supplement is always recommended for its calming effect in case of feather plucking behavior. Calcium supplements designed for parrots like Cal-D Solve or ensure a high bio-availability, meaning that the calcium they contain can be easily absorbed from the bird’s gut into the bloodstream. Always  check with your avian veterinarian regarding how much calcium to offer your parrot. Sometimes a high early dose will ensure a proper calcium reserve in the bones of calcium deficient parrots.

 

Toxicity

Among other factors that may cause feather plucking are metal toxicity allergies, nutrient mal-absorption, nutrient imbalances by deficiency or excess, internal or external parasites, dietary or environmental toxins, organ malfunction, hormone and endocrine imbalances, lighting environment, yeast infection, bacterial infection, Chlamydia, reaction to antibiotics or other drugs.  System DeTox Herbal Drops are a natural solution to detoxifying the liver and other essential organs.

Probiotics

Another recommended nutritional supplement against feather plucking behavior in parrots is a calming product for their digestive systems. Because birds who are plucking their feathers are stressed their digestive systems also don’t work well. A digestive calming product can help improving nutrient absorption and maximize their gut function.

Ensuring the right dosage for your parrot’s nutritional supplements is crucial when treating the feather plucking behavior. It doesn’t matter much in what carrier food you add the supplement, what matters most is to make sure your bird is regularly consume the prescribed dosage. Over the long term you’ll achieve consistent results. In case that your parrot does relapse and start again its feather plucking behavior you can simply reload its diet with the proper supplements.

Stressed parrots may have a reduced blood supply to the digestive system and this may lead to chronic digestive upset and many other complications. Liquid or powder probiotic supplements can help rebalancing the digestive system and have a positive impact on feather plucking parrots. Birds on a pellet diet may also experience problems because the minerals and vitamins added to these pellets are not enough to compensate for normal levels. Some pellets may be missing essential enzymes because they are destroyed in processing.  Most avian vets recommend supplementing pellets with protein, green food, nuts, seeds, vegetables, or fruits, which are found in a wild birds’ natural diet. Supplements especially designed for birds may help correct the nutritional imbalance.

Feather Plucking Supplements

Amino Acids

Feather plucking birds are also likely to be deficient in sulfur amino acids. These nutrients are in short supply in seeds and plants, so you will need to add them in supplements in order to help your bird growing new feathers. Supplement products that contain these sulfur amino acids can be sprinkled over all kind of bird foods, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, egg foods, toast or other.

In conclusion, providing the proper vitamins and supplements for your parrot will help maintaining a daily sustained nutrient load, a measured amount of the same macro and micro nutrients. Detox products can also help avoiding some food allergies. You can find a wide range of such vitamins and feather plucking supplements on the Bird Supplies online store.  Check their large supply of vitamins and feather plucking supplements and choose the proper ones for your feather plucking parrot.

Join Facebook Group for Feather Plucking Parrots


Diane Burroughs, LCSW

Located in Denver, I'm a Mile High author and parrot feather plucking expert. I've always been a devoted animal lover with a special passion for parrots, Diane is also a behavior specialist. Make sure to join my Facebook group, UnRuffledRx Parrot Feather Plucking Help now!

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  • Diane Burroughs, LCSW
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